Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Dior DiorShow Extase Mascara

Dior DiorShow Extase Mascara ($28.00) is the latest variation on the famous Dior DiorShow Mascara. It seems like it’s exclusively available at Sephora for the time being, and Sephora describes the new mascara as:

DiorShow Extase provides built-in treatment benefits and high-impact lashes in a single stroke! The spherical-shaped Black Pearl Pigments create a 3D volume effect and the exclusive Metamorphosis Powders expand in size by up to 50% after application. Also, SR38 Patented Ceramid brings additional care, reconstructing damaged lashes and promoting stronger and fuller lashes. The Extase mascara features a “Tiered Brush” that is inspired by the “tiered” couture dresses created by the House of Dior. The brush is designed for performance and contains an Exclusive Duo of Fibers: The Black Elastomer Fibers brush out and define the lashes for panoramic fringe and the Gold Nylon Fibers hold and deposit formula, generously coating each lash for outstanding volume.

Whenever I review a mascara, I look to see what exactly the mascara is claiming to do, because I find that like some anti-aging products, mascara is a product type that is often more marketing than results.   Extase is designed to volumize and thicken lashes while defining them.

Extase delivers length best – it’s exceptionally good at providing you with instantly longer lashes, even with just one light coat of the mascara. That’s really the part that I noticed first. It adds some volume, but I wouldn’t label this a volumizing mascara. My lashes really looked longer, but not so feathery (as my lashes tend to look with a more volumizing mascara). As far as thickening goes, it thickens well for a such a multi-tasking mascara. I think what stands out about this mascara is the lengthening aspect of it; everything else is decent, but it’s hard to separate the volume, thickness, etc. from the dramatic increase in length. The color of the mascara is definitely a deep black; I’d say Chanel Exceptionnel and MAC Plushlash are slightly richer, but they’re all in the same ballpark. I don’t have any issues with the pigmentation–it’s black enough for me.

It does a good job of defining lashes, but to a point, because the mascara will clump up on you if you’re not careful. The brush often has excess mascara on it, so removing excess certainly helps, and you can get a good two or three coats of mascara with very minimal clumping. I always recommend using a mascara comb regardless of the mascara you’re using, just because it helps separate and define lashes. I wouldn’t say this is perfectly clump-free, but I’d say it’s a relatively clump-free mascara. If you like to get multiple coats on, just follow my aforementioned tips for a better application.

I’ve been wearing Extase for over a week now, so you can see it used in a variety of looks here in addition to the comparison photos included in the review.  The original DiorShow gave me good length, some thickening and volumizing, and looked good overall, but it flaked and smudged on me within an hour, so it was a no-go. I am so pleased to report that Extase doesn’t flake, budge, or smudge at all, even with twelve hours of wear. It also holds a curl like nobody’s business!

The brush has a sort of “swirled” look to it, and even though they mentioned black and gold fibers, it all looked black to me, so it was difficult to assess that particular aspect of it. The brush didn’t seem too large, though it felt a little long. It takes an application or two to find the right method for application, but it didn’t require much thought or effort to get good results.

OVERALL, I did enjoy the way Dior DiorShow Extase made my lashes look. It’s particularly lovely for lengthening lashes, even the stubbier ones I have on the outer lash line, and does a decent job everywhere else to make it one of the better multi-tasking mascaras I’ve tried. I’d say it’s very comparable to Chanel Exceptionnel but clumps less (but doesn’t thicken as well).  Extase is also priced higher than Dior’s other mascaras at $28, so it’s not the most affordable mascara you’ll come across.  Just for reference, DiorShow is $24 and DiorShow Iconic is $27.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you like DiorShow and want more length, you may enjoy Extase.

Availability: Sephora

See more photos and comparisons… Continue reading →

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Dark Neutrals: Smoky Brown Eyes

This is probably my last look dedicated to MAC’s Warm & Cozy Collection. I’m pretty sure my next look is going to use some *color* as the past few have all been fairly neutral, given the theme of Warm & Cozy. I’ve never been a huge fan of using super dark bases overall, just because I’ve always found they have a tendency to eat color and not enhance it as much as lighter bases can do. Relaxed seemed to work best when layered with shimmery eyeshadows, rather than softer, more satiny shades.

You will need the following…

Directions: Start by applying Relaxed shadestick as your eyeshadow base all over the lid with the 249. Using the 239, apply Modelette eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply Mulled Cider eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with Coppering eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Next, define the crease by applying Antiqued eyeshadow with the 226. To add more depth, tap and lightly blend in Embark eyeshadow in the crease with the 219. Lightly tap and brush Modelette eyeshadow directly above the crease to soften. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep Chamomile eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Feline kohl power on the lower waterline and Goldmine eyeshadow on the lower lash line, and then sweeping lashes with DiorShow Extase mascara.

For cheeks, apply Imprevu blush to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116. To highlight, apply Empreinte de Chanel lightly over the cheekbones with the 165.

For lips, apply Warm Me Up lipstick first, and then layer Feelin’ Dreamy lipglass for a lighter lip.

Check out more photos! Continue reading →

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

More Natural Makeup with MAC Warm & Cozy

Here’s another simple look I did with Warm & Cozy. There’s really not much to it! I just wanted something easy, functional, and neutral. I thought about wearing By Candlelight in this look, but MAC’s mineralize products tend to break me out, so I didn’t want to risk it over the holidays. I just went with my new favorite Sugarbomb instead! :)

You will need the following…

Directions: Start by applying MAC Nurture shadestick as your eyeshadow base all over the lid with the 249. Using the 239, apply Chamomile eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply Expensive Pink eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with Modelette eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Next, define the crease by applying Mulled Cider eyeshadow with the 226. Lightly tap and brush Modelette eyeshadow directly above the crease to soften. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep Chamomile eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Urban Decay Underground Liner on the lower lash line, and then sweeping lashes with Dior DiorShow Extase mascara.

For cheeks, apply Benefit Sugarbomb powder to the apples of cheeks with the 116.

For lips, apply Warm Me Up lipstick first, and then layer D’Nouveau lipgloss for soft, neutral lips.

Check out more photos! Continue reading →

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Natural Makeup with MAC Warm & Cozy

As promised, here’s a quick look I did using a bunch of Warm & Cozy products! I used Comfort mineralize skinfinish as a blusher in the first set of full-face pictures more to show you what it looks like on (and why I’m not keen on it) — I often do my best to use as many products from a single launch as possible, just to experiment and show you what you could do (or why you may want to pull pieces from your stash to complement a launch).

Comfort on me is like a dirty orange (and trust, I applied lightly–talk about pigmented, at least!), and By Candlelight is definitely shimmery/reflective — I only put the lightest it bit on the tops of my cheeks, but sure enough, BAM!

Today is exciting for two reasons: Christmas Eve (love, love Christmas! I have a thing for food and glitz and glam) and it’s Mellan’s birthday (he’s two years old today)! :) Super sweet reader Roxanne (@RockSlam) made an awesome collage, too. It’s SO cute. Totally made my day! (You can check it out in this post, at the bottom!)

Merry Christmas Eve to those who celebrate :) Happy winter, if you don’t!

You will need the following…

Directions: Start by applying Cuddle shadestick as your eyeshadow base all over the lid with the 249. Using the 239, apply Chamomile eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply Modelette eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with Mulled Cider eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Next, define the crease by applying Embark eyeshadow with the 226. Lightly tap and brush Modelette  eyeshadow directly above the crease to soften. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep Chamomile eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Urban Decay El Dorado Liner on the lower waterline and Dipdown fluidline on the upper lash line with the 208, and then sweeping lashes with Dior DiorShow Extase mascara.

For cheeks, lightly apply Comfort mineralize skinfinish to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116. Highlight lightly with By Candlelight mineralize skinfinish using the 165 or 187. For more toned down cheeks, try Dior Coral Riviera blush with the 116.

For lips, apply Warm Me Up lipstick first, and then layer 2N lipglass for soft, neutral lips.

Check out more photos! Continue reading →

Monday, December 21st, 2009

This is a quick & dirty look–seriously, like ten minutes or less–using Chanel’s spring collection. I love the lips more than the eyes, but what else is new?  I think next time I use this quad, I’m going to try a shimmery gold base.  Hmm.

Happy Monday!! (Yes, I’m sick and twisted… Mondays are my favorite day of the week!)

You will need the following…

  • Eyes: MAC Soft Ochre paint pot (neutral beige base), Chanel Kaska Beige Eyeshadow Quad (fleshy beige, medium brown, dark plum-brown, medium tan-brown), Chanel Khaki Dore Eyeliner (antique gold), Dior DiorShow Extase Mascara (black)
  • FaceKiehl’s Tinted Moisturizer (medium)
  • Cheeks: Chanel Imprevu Joues Contraste (coppery-red), Empreinte de Chanel (peachy-gold)
  • Lips: Chanel Incognito Lipstick (rosy pink), Chanel Futile Glossimer (sheer, silvery pink)
  • Brushes: 266 (firm, angled brush), 226 (fluffy crease brush), 219 (pointed crease brush), 214 (smudge brush), 249 (flat, firm brush), 239 (fluffy shadow brush), 129 (dense blush brush)
  • Substitutes: Rose Blanc = Nylon

Directions: Start by applying MAC Soft Ochre paint pot as your eyeshadow base all over the lid with the 249. Using the 239, apply the fleshy-beige eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply medium tan-brown eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with the matte brown eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Next, define the crease by applying plum-brown eyeshadow with the 226. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep the fleshy beige eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Chanel Khaki Dore Eyeliner on the lower lash line, and then sweeping lashes with Dior DiorShow Extase mascara.

For cheeks, apply Chanel Imprevu Joues Contraste to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 129. Highlight cheeks with the 165 brush by tapping Chanel Empreinte de Chanel lightly on cheek bones.

For lips, apply Chanel Incognito Lipstick first, and then layer Chanel Futile Glossimer for a glossy look.

Check out more photos! Continue reading →

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

MAC Love Lace Look

Here’s a quick and dirty look using products from MAC’s Love Lace Collection!  I managed to squeeze in all four of the eyeshadows that came out. Just an FYI, Blanc Type looks very, very subtle in real life — it’s not a very camera-friendly color (tends to look a lil’ on the chalky side) — ’cause whenever I use it, I can barely tell I have it on… until I take photos, of course, lol!

I ditched the lip products, because they’re really not up my alley (with all that sheerness, y’know!), and I went with two upcoming shades from Chanel’s Spring collection instead.  And the lips are the BEST PART ABOUT THIS LOOK.  Seriously. Amazing!

I also opted for warmer cheeks and lips to warm up the cool-toned eyes, since I’m naturally warm, so it helped balance the look for me.  You could just as easily swap in cool-pink cheeks and an icy, pinky lip, too.

You will need the following…

Directions: Start by applying Soft Ochre paint pot as your eyeshadow base all over the lid with the 249. Using the 239, apply Suave Intentions eyeshadow on the inner two-thirds of the eyelid. Darken the outer third of the lid with Love Lace eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Next, define the crease by applying Hypnotizing eyeshadow with the 226. Lightly tap and brush Pincurl eyeshadow directly above the crease to soften. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep Blanc Type eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Sense of Style kohl power on the lower waterline, and then sweeping lashes with Dior DiorShow Extase mascara.

For cheeks, apply Springsheen blush to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 129.

For lips, apply Chanel Delicieuse Lipstick first, and then layer Chanel Futile Glossimer for a soft lip.

Check out more photos! Continue reading →